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Where The Puppet Master Robert Freegard From New Netflix True Crime Doc Is Now

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Where The Puppet Master Robert Freegard From New Netflix True Crime Doc Is Now

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

If you're a true crime fan, you'll be pleased to know that Netflix has dropped its latest docu-series, The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman. You can watch the trailer here:

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The show is centred around conman Robert Hendy-Freegard, but the question remains: where is he now?

Considered to be one of the world's most audacious fraudsters, Hendy-Freegard was convicted in 2005 for stealing close to £1m from at least seven women and one man.

He worked at a pub in Shropshire and a car dealership, where he would meet some of his victims, telling them he was an undercover MI5 agent, Special Branch or part of Scotland Yard working against the IRA.

Hendy-Freegard fleeced thousands of pounds from people by convincing them they were being pursued by the IRA, winning them over by cutting them off from their family and friends.

In 2002, Scotland Yard and the FBI organised a sting operation and arrested Hendy-Freegard at Heathrow Airport.

Following an eight-month trial at Blackfriars Crown Court in 2005, the con artist was convicted for two counts of kidnapping, 10 of theft and eight of deception.

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

He was given a life sentence, but this was revoked after an appeal against his kidnapping convictions in 2007, and he was released from prison in 2009.

This brings us to the shocking twist in the three-part docu-series, as it features interviews with the two children of a woman who chose to stay with Hendy-Freegard despite knowing of his crimes.

Sophie and Jake spoke about how in 2011, their mum Sandra - recently divorced from her husband Mark - decided to join a dating site where she met someone called 'David'.

Their relationship progressed quickly, with 'David' - later revealed to be Hendy-Freegard - taking the family on holiday and buying Sandra a new Audi car.

Digital Spy reports that, over time, Hendy-Freegard manipulated Sandra by cutting her off from her family and friends.

He also turned the family members against each other, telling Sandra's ex Mark that Jake was gay and hadn't come out to him, despite this not being the truth.

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

Hendy-Freegard would also lock Jake out of the family home, resulting in a fight that led to the son moving in with his dad.

Sophie blamed her brother and dad for this and cut them out of her life for two years, all the while being made to pay a majority of her earnings from a hairdresser's apprentice as rent to live at the family home.

But Sophie soon started realising Hendy-Freegard was the problem, and eventually left to reunite with Jake and Mark.

In 2014, Hendy-Freegard and Sandra left the family home without revealing their location. Mark, who was still on good terms with Sandra, attempted to try and track her down and bring her back to the kids.

Although the family tried to get the police involved, when officers located the couple, Sandra turned down the opportunity to come home.

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

The final episode of the series examines an incident in 2017 involving a beagle dog breeder who claimed to have been deceived by Hendy-Freegard, who is still believed to be using the name David Clifton to this very day.

The woman, who was interviewed anonymously for the series, said he claimed to work in the breeding industry and could assist with her dogs' pedigree.

She is heard saying: "I had an advert for a litter of puppies on the internet and received a text from him.

"He introduced himself as David Clifton and went on to tell me that my Beagles weren't very good quality.

"I started going into business with him and I was never allowed to be in contact with the people I was buying the dogs from. He's bringing the dogs backwards and forwards from France."

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

She presented a number of transactions made to Sandra Clifton's bank account, which led her to discovering 'David's' true identity.

"I don't know anything about Sandra other than I was told that she's disappeared and her family haven't seen her for six years," she explained.

While the documentary makers did attempt to contact the couple on numerous occasions, they didn't respond.

Jake and Sophie continue to appeal to their mother to come home to the family.

Words: Daisy Phillipson

Topics: tv, film & movies, True Crime, Netflix, TV and Film

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